Digital Marketing Services for Travel Businesses
Many travel businesses will need a fully integrated SEO / digital marketing strategy that encompasses all vital aspects of search engine optimisation including development, digital PR, travel content writing, link building, technical SEO & more.
- SEO for the travel niche can get quite complex due to the different types of search conducted. Users in travel are either actively looking to book a holiday / accommodation or trip online or they’ll be researching where to go, where to stay, things to do and more.
- A good travel SEO strategy is generally composed of an on site and off site strategy. From an on site SEO perspective – it’s crucial to understand:
- What consumers are searching for?
- Are they looking to book a holiday cottage? a hotel? a b&b? a luxury villa? or are they researching where to go, where to stay and what to do?
- Identifying your target market is one fundamental part of a travel SEO strategy as this will dictate the content strategy as well as landing page optimisation.
- INTENT is absolutely critical – you don’t want to send someone to a long form article when their intention is to book something!.
- SEO will include initial keyword research and query scoping – this will set the scene for landing page optimisation. Most travel search engine optimisation campaigns will be a mix of optimising search results pages and property pages / travel pages with an independent content strategy running alongside covering things to do, places to see, best travel tips & more.
- As part of an SEO strategy we also need to consider taking advantage of rich snippets / structured data to activate property booking features, gold star snippets & people also asked features in Google search.
The State of the Travel Industry
The travel industry is rapidly evolving to be a digital first landscape. Big booking engines from AIRBNB to BOOKING.COM have dominated the travel landscape, but, because the niche is so substantial – there is lots of real estate to be had organically. It’s about getting the right keywords for your travel business.
Running a travel agency used to be fairly simple not too long ago. Before people starting researching and planning holidays online, they would simply walk into a local travel business, take a look at a few brochures, and pick a destination.
Today’s travel landscape is markedly different. There are now websites and services such as Booking.com and Airbnb that allow customers to bypass the travel agency and book their lodgings and trips directly. However, that doesn’t mean there is no room for travel companies in this current state of the industry. Quite the opposite.
Convenience is still the name of the game, and despite the fact that travelers might be able to handle everything on their own, a travel company can significantly ease the burden of planning a trip. This means that a vast majority of travelers are still going to be interested in the services of a travel agency because it’s still all about ease and convenience when it comes to booking a holiday.
Generate New Customer Bookings Online
Most businesses in the travel sector will be striving to increase their organic visits for the purpose of increasing website bookings. Using our travel SEO services we can amplify organic positions to increase traffic from qualified visitors who are engaged and primed to book a holiday / property / trip.
Where Your Travel Business Fits
Even the people who don’t want to book their holidays and trips on their own are still going to be using the Internet to research their options. They are going to perform searches on popular search engines like Google and Bing in order to find destinations of interest and learn more about their travel options.
This is the opportunity that your travel company needs to seize in order to get on the radar of potential customers via search engines. Generally speaking, there are two types of websites that tend to receive the most traffic and attention on search engines when people are researching travel destinations.
1. Content-oriented websites, such as travel review sites and personal travel blogs.
2. websites that offer services; travel agencies, but also airlines, hotels, and booking websites.
Your travel business website is going to be competing with both of them and, more importantly, needs to be able to rank for the same search terms for which both of these types of travel websites rank. And even though you can’t expect to convert anyone on their first search, your travel agency needs to focus on the long game. This is exactly where SEO for travel fits into the equation.
Understanding the Customer Journey in Travel
The path towards booking a holiday is often a fairly long one that will include multiple searches and a good amount of time spent browsing many different websites. A typical person looking to book a trip will visit different types of websites during the course of their research and the process of exploring their options before they focus their attention on a specific destination or activity.
Your job as a travel business is to be visible throughout this entire process, making sure that you make enough of an impact on the customer with SEO during the research process so that they’ll come back to your business website once they know where they want to go and what type of trip they want to book.
The role of good travel SEO is to make sure that you are present throughout this cycle and in every phase of it:
- Your business website should be making an appearance while customers are still looking for inspiration and aren’t sure where they want to travel.
- It also needs to be visible in search results when the customer is starting to plan their trip and is looking at flights and accommodation.
- Then comes the booking phase. If your travel website has remained top-of-mind during the inspiration and research phases, you stand a better chance of receiving a visit during the booking stage as well.
- Being able to participate in the post-holiday phase is also essential. Travelers love sharing their experiences and leaving reviews of their trips. Being visible in this phase is a good SEO strategy because it improves your chances of future customers noticing you in their inspiration and research phases.
How SEO Services Can Help You Be Competitive in the Travel Industry
The travel sector is extremely competitive but full of opportunities to rank for both competitive & long tail keywords. Capitalising on every available keyword opportunity will allow smaller travel brands to compete organically against larger travel giants.
Search engine optimization is what enables local and small tourism businesses and travel agencies to compete with the larger companies in the industry. Having a holistic SEO for travel strategy and a trusted SEO agency implementing it diligently enables smaller travel companies to potentially outperform large companies on search engines, leveling the playing field and enabling smaller businesses to grow and provide their customers with personalised services and extraordinary booking experiences.
Nothing is more important in the travel industry than exposure, and a high-quality SEO strategy is something that travel agencies big and small can use to position themselves as leaders in the industry.
Why You Should Invest In Travel SEO
SEO has been at the forefront of digital marketing for so long now that you and your team probably have a good idea of the basic concepts and ideas behind it. However, dabbling in SEO is not going to give you the results that you are looking for in the long run.
The best way to optimize your business’s SEO for travel is by contracting SEO experts to put together and implement an SEO strategy that is going to help your website break into the first page of search engine results for all your most important search terms.
And even though you will have to invest in SEO, the return on investment (ROI) has proven to be one of the best in the digital marketing realm, meaning that there are not many other marketing tactics that work as well and as cost-effectively as proper SEO services.
SEO Best Practices We’ll Use to Get Your Travel Website Ranking and Converting
Now that you understand the importance of a sound travel SEO strategy and having SEO experts assist you in putting it to work, let’s talk about the process of search engine optimization.
These are some of the many SEO steps, actions, and techniques that our SEO agency takes in order to make sure that your travel business is ranking well in search results for all your most important keywords and that your website is converting customers at a higher rate than ever before.
Travel Website SEO Audit
The first step in any successful SEO campaign and SEO strategy is performing a website SEO audit, which entails taking a detailed look at the current state of your website and where it can stand to improve. A website audit helps you to get rid of things that might be hurting your SEO for travel, such as duplicate content and poor content organization, and make improvements where needed.
A travel website SEO audit will involve a thorough analysis of all traditional on site and off site elements from title tags to canonical tags, URL structure, cannibalisation, page speed & core web vitals, keyword coverage, duplicate coverage & more.
A website audit helps to provide a foundation for the SEO campaign to start from as it will dictate what work is required initially alongside keyword research, marketplace analysis, user behaviour flow analysis & more.
Technical SEO Analysis
When we talk about technical SEO we are referring to changes being made “under the hood.” These are usually issues that the untrained eye might not notice, but in the long run, getting these technical aspects of your website fine-tuned will help your SEO tremendously.
Technical SEO usually includes improving your page speeds and how long it takes your website to load. Travel websites tend to have a lot of pictures, so making sure that all your images are optimized is another big part of technical travel SEO. In today’s day and age, it’s also important to make sure that your website is responsive and can be viewed just as effectively on a mobile device as it can on a desktop computer or laptop. The best part of technical SEO is that most of these fixes are made once by SEO experts and don’t have to be addressed again if everything is done correctly.
Travel Keyword Research
You probably already have a good idea of what your travel company’s most important search terms are. Our team of SEO experts will both confirm your core keywords, but also help you discover a wider range of more specific search phrases to better match the intent of your audience.
Once we know which keywords we need to focus on, the rest of the mission becomes easier. Our SEO experts will help you to not only rank better for general terms in organic search results, but focus more attention on specific keywords that can bring more focused traffic. For example, even though “Greek holiday” might be your main SEO keyword, ranking for a more specific SEO term like “Santorini family resort” might drive better conversion rates, even though the keyword is less competitive.
Our SEO keyword research also includes an SEO competitor analysis to understand what your competition is ranking for and how they are performing on keywords that are important to you in order to develop a strategy that will get you ahead of them in SEO.
Link building is an absolutely essential part of travel SEO, but it’s also one of the most difficult because it’s highly competitive. Link building is a process in which you get high-quality, trusted sites to link back to your website, which in turn establishes your website as an expert in a particular realm in the eyes of Google. Link building might be the biggest reason why you should invest in professional travel SEO services, because a lot of time, effort, and know-how needs to be invested in getting good links for travel SEO.
One of the best ways to build links is through good content marketing. If you are creating high quality content, websites will link to you without even being asked to do so. Content marketing is a huge part of your travel SEO strategy and a process that includes everything from travel blogging and well-written travel SEO landing pages to email campaigns, white papers, brochures, and much more.
Important SEO Ranking Factors for Travel Websites
There are hundreds of ranking factors as part of Google’s algorithm – which factors are applied really come down to target search keywords, indexes and user behaviour. For most travel based searches – the intent will dictate the kind of websites returned. Some of the most weighted SEO factors include:
If you are looking to rank for property-based searches then it’s likely you’ll need static search result pages listing out all of the properties in a specific location / search type. One travel SEO factor is likely to include property coverage – if you are trying to rank against competitors with hundreds of properties whilst you only have a handful you are likely to face an uphill battle – therefore long-tail target keywords is a great way to overcome this.
Landing Page Performance & Filtering
If your landing pages load slowly – this will go against your website and its ability to perform. Good core web vitals will be essential on property/travel websites, mainly because the pages are more image rich /. feature-rich, making them more liable to load slowly.
Accessibility of filtering will also have an impact both directly and indirectly. Users should be able to find and use filters on your website without any impedance on user experience.
Content & Content Relevance / Uniqueness
Property and travel websites should have as much independent content as possible. A challenge that a lot of travel websites face is property descriptions which are often duplicated wherever else the property may be listed.
Your travel website should be populated with high quality, descriptive landing page content that fits in with a good UX and causes no obstruction.
Internal & External Links
Good internal linking makes it easier for users to navigate to other useful resources within your website. On property/travel websites this could be linked to travel resources, timetables, weather, currency conversion, home office travel guidance and more.
External links count towards the travel website’s overall domain authority (sometimes referred to as DA). Travel link building & travel digital PR are vital for earning / generating high quality links that show Google your website is a quality website & trusted. High volumes of quality links is a positive indicator of trust and value.
User behaviour is likely to be a more weighted factor in travel/property. Websites that offer a good user experience will likely make it easier for users to find what they want, offer a better experience on mobile (i.e. easier to enlarge images / maps etc.). It’s also important to note that user behaviour on travel websites can be an indicator of brand trust, property coverage, pricing and more. Users that regularly bounce / pogo back to Google where the session duration is very short (less than competitors) could be a sign of poor website user experience, lack of property/travel options & more.
For travel search engine optimisation to be as effective as possible, it’s important to make sure your website aligns with what the keywords return as part of search results. If your competitors have hundreds/thousands of properties and you don’t then the strategy would have to counteract this.
How long will SEO take before we see an increase in traffic?
This depends on the coverage of your websites existing non brand keyword profile and current organic state. Most travel / tourism / leisure and accommodation businesses can expect to see organic increases within the first 3-6 months – but, this is really conditional on existing domain health, previous SEO works carried out and more.
Request your free travel SEO quote and we’ll do an upfront assessment on your domain.
Why Work With Me?
I’ve worked with small, medium and large travel brands across the world including Virgin Holidays, Qantas, Easycruise, Holidaycottages.co.uk, Dream Cottages, Snowfinders, Sykes and Coastal Cottages. My background in travel SEO goes back over 20 years!
I’m a highly seasoned SEO specialist who has dealt with the logistics, planning and execution of travel SEO strategies.
I’m reputable, trusted and am an authority in my industry.
SEO Results Delivered For Clients
Daniel Foley has delivered substantial results for businesses across a whole variety of different business verticals/niches from finance and healthcare through to education, home improvement, manufacturing and more.
Daniel Foley helped SCI MX with an SEO strategy that saw traffic growth of over 140% for hundreds of keywords around protein powder, shakes and protein snacks as well as thousands of new long-tail blog keywords. SCI-MX’s traffic profile has continued to grow throughout 2020.
Working with iProspect, Daniel Foley worked on an SEO campaign for The Open University helping to deliver a technical SEO audit alongside SEO. The Open University had seen growth of over 30% organically. Technical SEO audits helped to alleviate ranking lag.
Daniel Foley worked with Holidaycottages.co.uk on an SEO strategy to increase rankings for keyword searches across the west country from holiday cottages to dorset cottages. Daniel Foley and the marketing team were able to deliver growth of over 75%.
March 9, 2019
Best thing I ever done was use this company. Daniel Foley has increased our website views more than double thanks to his expertise. Super happy
March 9, 2019